Men in Therapy

Noemi J. Mullins

I hate men being “macho” all the time. We expect our men to be strong, brave, muscular, wealthy, responsible, romantic, and rich. Personally, there is nothing I find more intimate than my partner expressing his raw emotions. I appreciate his trust in me to reveal his deepest fears and sensitivities without fear of judgment. This shows me a lot more courage than the ability to bench press 500 pounds.

We assume that men don’t go to therapy. We judge men for not having a way to express themselves or letting down their guard. In my own life, I hear friends and friends of friends talk about how counseling is “feminine-driven.” Only women go to counseling,” I bet you have a lot of women seeking couples counseling with you, and their husbands cringe.

Men of different ages, races, and sexualities. All men struggle with the same issue of not being able to be themselves in their relationships. In this dating world of instant gratification, false perceptions, and expectations, younger men might struggle more to be themselves. Meanwhile, older men may have more difficulty connecting with their partners and children, being true to their selves in a relationship that has not (often) been a positive experience, and showing their sensitive side without fear of rejection or judgment.

Since I began seeing clients, I have been curious (and a bit nervous) about how to “market my services.” I was particularly worried about how to market my services to people in my age group. This is because I think we are easily caught up in false pride as a society, largely because of societal expectations and norms. This applies to both men and women, regardless of race or sexual orientation. ” We don’t need any help!” So, you can imagine how I felt when I approached them to offer services that would help build vulnerability and expose hardships to a stranger.

I was (and still am) very relieved when I saw the positive responses and responses from people after I began to educate them about my services and reveal my passion for working with relationship-related and self-perception-related issues. My career and passions were a great way to bond with people, as they felt more comfortable disclosing their relationship issues. Men (especially) felt empowered by the freedom to let go of everything and sort it out. I believe that our society, and especially the millennials, need counseling. We don’t need to be afraid of being exposed.

Since I began my career, I have attracted individuals with similar values who needed a safe place to express their emotions. Men who sought me out had a passion for life and were experiencing issues with their relationships. On paper, they “had it all.” They were educated, financially successful, and had a good job.

It’s being able to identify “safe” people to express emotions to and being strong enough to accept those who are not. It is being able to identify people with whom you can express your feelings and strong enough to get those who don’t. It’s not uncommon for the word “sensitive” to have a negative connotation. I remember that it was often used in my family growing up. We were told, as children, to “suck up” or “stop crying.” As a consequence, our normal emotional reactions would be dismissed and this often has extreme implications. We then learn to reject that label and mask our emotions, especially men, because we start to identify “sensitivity/exposing emotions/needing support” as BAD).

They are “sensitive,” even when they’re subtle. I admire the courage it takes to bring this to light. The men are tired of playing the tough man role our society has forced them to play. They find it difficult to trust their reactions and emotions while also exposing them to others.

I am grateful to the men who seek out my services for individual counseling or couples counseling. I also want to thank my male clients. I salute your courage in fighting against the stereotype of men seeking counseling. I also appreciate the strength you have shown to build a more confident version of yourself that can include emotions.

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